The siege of Wall Street continues.
It’s not just Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The culture at large is learning how bad Wall Street really is.
How could Wall Street not be an evil place? It is a bastion of white privilege, capitalism and greed. Things are so bad on Wall Street that that young bankers and financiers have been committing suicide.
Andrew Ross Sorkin reports for The New York Times:
It is possible that the finance industry attracts more people with depression, just as it is possible that the pressure-cooker work environment overwhelms some people who have been high achievers their entire lives. It could be a tragic combination of multiple factors. Wall Street has always thrived, in part, on its eat-or-be-eaten culture. Would curbing its competitive nature cut into its success?
Ah yes, let’s rid the world of competition. Isn’t competition the enemy of the trendy notion of flourishing?
Think about it: would you say that the players who are playing in the Super Bowl are flourishing? Would you use the word flourishing to describe Dwight Eisenhower on D-Day or Douglas MacArthur received the surrender of Japan?
The word flourishing is a variation on the word flowering. And flowers do not engage in competition. In fact, flourishing appears to be a more feminized version of happiness.
Men thrive on competition; men are driven to succeed; men work very hard to succeed. To better compete they even engage in a sexist and retrograde division of household labor. A new book about Park Avenue housewives tells us that a goodly number of those who work on Wall Street have wives who stay at home and care for the children.
The indignities multiply.
Of course, one ought also to ask how much bankers’ morale suffers from the constant attacks on their integrity and honesty. And how much of their attitude is determined by the overwhelming number of regulations that have befallen them? An abundance of regulation assumes that bankers are fundamentally corrupt and that, left to their own devices, they would lie, cheat and steal.
Surely, the cultural bias against Wall Street affects the psychology of those who work there.
In the midst of its story Sorkin offers us a glimpse of the truth:
Studies have suggested that financial service employees are at higher risk than those in many other industries. According to the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance, individuals who work in financial services are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than the national average. The highest suicide rates in the United States are among doctors, dentists and veterinarians. [boldface mine]
Clearly, the truth will out.
Considering how evil Wall Street is and how virtuous the caring professions are, how can it happen that healthcare professions have the highest suicide rates?
Aren’t we supposed to believe that the hyper-competitive testosterone-driven environment of Wall Street is so evil that it is killing people off?
The dominant cultural narrative does not explain why the caring professions, even including those that involve healing animals, are more toxic and lethal.